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Biruta leads Rhode Island to 78-68 win over Saint Joseph’s

KINGSTON, R.I. (AP) Gilvydas Biruta scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half as Rhode Island rallied in the final period to beat Saint Joseph’s 78-68 in Atlantic 10 Conference action on Saturday.

Rhode Island (21-8, 13-5) grabbed the No. 3 seed in the conference tournament, beginning March 11 in Brooklyn. The Rams, who received a double bye, will play in the quarterfinal round on March 13. Saint Joseph’s awaits the outcome of other conference games Saturday.

Biruta made 5 of 7 field goal attempts, E.C. Matthews added 17 points, Hassan Martin had 14 and T.J. Buchanan 13.

Trailing 42-37 early in the second half Rhode Island had an 11-0 run to go up 48-42 with 15:31 left in the game. The Rams pushed that to 66-52 midway of the half when Biruta scored nine straight points, capped off by a three-point play.

DeAndre Bembry led Saint Joseph’s (13-17, 7-11) with 21.

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